The Courier, 26 June 2009
Rail journey times from Dundee and Perth to other Scottish cities could be halved if a multi-billion pound travel super-hub proposal becomes a reality.
Train travel from Dundee to Aberdeen would take just 25 minutes on the £24 billion rail link recommended by think tank Reform Scotland.
A journey from Perth to Edinburgh would take only 20 minutes.
The report proposes that a centralised transport hub around Edinburgh Airport be named Grand Central.
The hub would contain Scotland’s main railway station and would be the focal point for the country’s road, rail and air transportation, with the aim of boosting economic growth.
Newly-appointed chairman of Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership, Will Dawson, said the report was “aspirational” given the enormous sums of money involved.
The Dundee councillor said, “We would be happy with any improvement to the rail network and will look at the report in more detail with interest.
“Our priority is working on the National Transport Strategy but anything that would help connect Dundee to the world is to be welcomed.”
The report also calls for an investigation into road-pricing schemes and major improvements to Scotland’s trunk roads system.
The cost would necessitate greater tax-raising powers for the Scottish Parliament as proposed in Reform Scotland’s earlier report, entitled Fiscal Powers.
Reform Scotland chairman Ben Thomson said a proper long-term integrated transport strategy was “vital” for Scotland to compete in the world economy.
He said, “At present, transport strategy is about prioritising a series of local projects, the result of which will give Scotland a disjointed system in future.
“The sort of vision proposed in this paper is where the Scottish Government can make a difference, to create an integrated system.”